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Illuminating Age

“Am I old yet?”

Jeanette Strasser Pfaff ’60 ponders that question and more as a newsletter columnist for the Carol Woods retirement community in Chapel Hill, N.C. Her wry glance falls on the many aspects of getting older and results in musings that are sometimes funny, sometimes wistful, and often illuminating.

“My 60th college reunion is not far in the future,” Pfaff notes in one column. “The month I finished my freshman year, the Class of 1897 celebrated its 60th Reunion. They were old.”

Pfaff says that these writings have helped her find her voice—and her place—in a community that reminds her a lot of Swarthmore. 

“When you first get to a retirement community, you think you’re fitting into something that is fixed, and that’s the way you feel when you’re a freshman, too,” she says. “And then, gradually, you realize that it’s always changing—and that you’re a part of the change.”